Episode 1: The Great Archipelago
Filmed on location in: Greece
The Cyclades Islands of Greece known as the Great Archipelago, are a ring of over 200 islands filled with extraordinary history and ancient myth. Each island has its own unique story, from the tourist hotspots of Mykonos and Santoríni, to the hidden grandeur of Náxos and Amorgós. This first episode of “Aerial Greece” explores the stories of nine of these magnificent and enthralling islands.
The islands of the Aegean scattered across a sea that once united and divided the empires of Europe and Asia – an archipelago of great diversity and natural beauty. Formed by the peaks of a long submerged mountain range they are filled with the historic legacies and ancient legends of Greece. From the ancient Minoans to the Romans; the Medieval kingdoms of Europe and the Axis and Allied forces of the Second World War – every civilisation has left its mark.
An extraordinary bird’s-eye view reveals the great circle of the Cyclades, centred around the sacred island of Delos where the ancient tribes of Greece once united to form the most influential and advanced civilisation of the ancient world.
At the caldera of Santorini, forged by one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in history, we soar above a five star resort whose roofs and walls are kept pristine by the hardest working painter in the Aegean, we follow the female skipper of the “Giorgaros” out to sea and take a vertiginous cable car ascent to the most spectacular lookout point of an extraordinary crescent-shaped island.
Poignant and revealing human stories abound: from the beekeepers of Andros to the lonely Tourlitis lighthouse rebuilt in honour of an oil tycoon’s lost daughter; from the haunting abandoned sulphur mines of Milos to the foreboding prison island of Gyaros where sinister concentration camps moulder and visitors are still forbidden to land.
We circle above incredible, contrasting landscapes: from the otherworldly boulder-strewn landscape of Tinos where every building is sculpted and even bus stops are made from marble to the surfers, pirate coves and vibrant colours of Milos, the Medieval windmills of Mykonos and the world’s most Instagrammed restaurant at Little Venice, where the final romantic scene of ‘The Bourne Identity’ was filmed
On Naxos, we ascend to the stately, unfinished temple of Apollo, once commissioned by a proud tyrant before he was deposed by the Spartans and observe the vast prone shape of the Colossus of Dionysus, an earthbound statue waiting in silence, locked in a quarry for 2700 years.
Skirting the coastline of Amorgos, we see the shipwreck at Liverio Bay that inspired Luc Besson’s cult free-diving movie ‘The Big Blue’ and marvel at a labyrinthine monastery containing a sacred icon and a community of monks living in a ‘chest of drawers’ on a sheer cliff face.
Timeless, contrasting, utterly unique – these are the islands of the Aegean.